by Sharon Stevens
There are so many simple memories within our life and those of our families and friends…moments that are fleeting, but not gone forever. A single word, phrase or a picture helps to bring these memories back into focus and into our thoughts.
Take a second to restore these precious treasures to your heart and soul.
You don’t need a fancy journal. Any writing surface will do whether it is a diary, notebook, scrap of paper, school spiral or “Big Chief Tablet”. And don’t be afraid to record any insignificant thought. You never know when this just might be the memory that will touch you not just for today but in the years to come as well.
Below are just a few triggers to help you get started.
“Writing Other Days and Nights and Times of Your Life”
By Maria Altevers-excerpted from Personal Journaling June 2001
Birthdays-Keep the memories-good or bad- of how you celebrated all the birthdays of your life by storing them in this journal.
Sunday afternoons-Record the lazy Sundays that you lived through. Looking back you might find ways to make those afternoons more productive…or not.
Friendship-Keeping a journal with your friends or about your friendships will strengthen the bond that is already present. Plus by communicating in this journal when trouble strike, you may curb the turmoil at the start and avoid major damage to the relationships.
Baby/Child-Forge an even deeper bond between yourself and your children by keeping a journal for them while they are young. It will make a great gift once they are old enough to appreciate such a wonderful and love filled book. Pregnant? Write a journal as your baby grows in the womb.
Sister/brother-Try to avoid the pitfalls of sibling rivalry and strengthen your relationships by channeling your feelings into a journal. One day, the pages might serve up a good laugh.
Women’s (PMS, pregnancy, childbirth menopause)-Keep track of the positives and negatives of womanhood in a journal. It might help preserve the joyous memories of giving birth or help funnel and deal with more emotional times-when hormones are raging.
Work-Schedule those important meetings and luncheons or use this journal to help dissolve job stress. It will enable you to keep your work life separate from your personal life.
School-Not only can you write about all the wonderful-and not so wonderful- times at school, you will have a place to store all those mementos that you’re not quite ready to leave behind.
Pet-If a dog is man’s best friend, treat him that way. Dedicate a journal to your pet. Capture funny moments, paste in pictures and track appointments to the vet.
Exercise-Most people agree that exercise is hard work. Monitoring your fitness progress in a journal can help motivate you to keep it up.
Interactive-Communication is hard to achieve in any relationship. Create a nonverbal dialogue in this diary you share and take turns writing in with another person.
Meditation-Where does your mind wander during meditation? Keep a grasp on peaceful feelings by channeling those thoughts into a journal. It may be a source of comfort during times when meditation just isn’t enough.
Cooking/Food-Journaling about cooking or food and your eating habits just might lead to a healthier lifestyle. You may get tired of writing about the same old foods and, in turn, become inspired to prepare more interesting and healthier meals.
Vacation-Keep all your vacation memories in one place by herding them into this journal, or keep a separate book for each vacation. Both will become an easy reference when reminiscing with family and friends.
Restaurant-Don’t let the restaurants of your traveling experience be forgotten. After visiting new sites, dining can be that relaxing moment when you learn about cultural food and tastes and when you discuss the places you’ve seen. Not a big traveler? That doesn’t mean you can’t still record the fun dining experiences of your life.
Holiday–This will make a nice conversation starter during future holidays when you want to retell the unforgettable stories of celebrations past.
Devotional-This can be a journal of quotes from religious texts or personal thoughts on religious matters. It will allow you to focus on your spiritual side, even if you don’t necessarily practice a particular religion.
Inspirational-This can be classified as a wisdom-for-living journal. Keeping quotes from your favorite authors, philosophers, teachers, family members and more will help to motivate you when you’re dealing with life’s obstacles.
Poetry-Use this journal to store your own poetry, as well as favorites you hold in high esteem. You can also include snippets of thoughts, passing ideas or images…
Gardening-Writing about something you care about can add a whole new perspective on your hobby. This journal can keep track of the seasons of growing for you and your garden.
Photography-Keep a journal of your favorite photos-from your life or from magazines, newspapers, or the Internet. Pictures are still frames of life; they can trigger a memory or spark an idea that’ll keep you writing for days.
Music-Whether you play or just listen, keeping a music journal can help you categorize your favorites. Make lists of your own “Best Albums Ever” and “Best Love Songs” or just write down the words to moving songs. Who knows maybe someday you’ll write your own music.
Hiking/Biking-Have you ever hiked to the top of a hill to find beautiful scenery, then forgotten the path that you took? Record all your hiking experiences and use it as your own personal, self-made guide when you get the next itch to go hiking.
Good laughs-Recall those times when you just couldn’t stop laughing. Write down what made you laugh good and long-before you forget.
Grief-Channel your grief in a positive way by journaling about it. This can be an aid and a comfort to you in your time of need.
Golf-Not a golfer? Keep a similar journal for any sport. Learn to improve by indexing games. Keep track of clubs used when you did right and high and low scores.